Review of “Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance”

Number of stars: 4

Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy

Edition: Paperback

Assassins Creed


Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember.
Nothing is true.
Where other men are limited by morality and law, remember
Everything is permitted.
We work in the dark, to serve the light. 
We are Assassins.

Although I enjoyed this read, being a huge Assassin’s Creed fan doesn’t mean I have to throw honesty aside and automatically give this book 5 stars… I only give this book 4 of 5 stars mainly due to clunky sentence structure. The plot was fantastic. The size and spacing of the chapters worked perfectly and the host of characters were interesting and well rounded.
This is a riveting tale of famous Assassin Ezio Auditore, told over the book’s nearly 24 year period.
We get to see how he became part of the Order. His ups and downs as a young man, his reasons for joining. This wasn’t just a tale of blind vengeance. Ezio’s tale was about improving the lives of those less fortunate, cleverly liberating cities, reuniting with old friends, family and romantic flames, and even working with some of the most famous characters of the Dark Ages. (Eg. Leonardo da Vinci and a few Popes.)

The author’s writing style was concise and descriptive, but the writing suffered throughout by using too many cliches and jargon when less words would do. As a reader I found myself distracted, rolling my eyes sometimes at the predictable choice of words and sifting through huge sentences of cheesy lines.

However, this was still a highly entertaining read. The author was talented in the way he used the timeline, hinting at real life events and taking liberties with certain key characters. I also appreciated the way he would gently and effectively show a block of time passing, like a year without bogging the speed of the book down too much.

Most importantly, this book has an overwhelming sense of comradery, daring adventure, peril and special effects that fans experienced jumping off rooftops or chasing pickpockets like the Ubisoft videos games provided.

By the way. Did anyone else know that Oliver Bowden is a pen name for British writer Anton Gill? News to me before today.

Enjoy the read!



Review of “The Paper Magician” by Charlie N. Holmberg

Number of Stars: 5

Genre: Fantasy, Magic, YA, & borderline steampunk

Edition: Kindle Edition

Paper Magician Screenshot.png

First of all, in case anyone beside me HAD to know if the author was a man or a woman, given the name…a woman wrote this book.

I don’t often give books 5 stars reviews, but this read was so refreshing and delightful I cannot help myself! The title and the cover seem simple at first glance, but the plot was unique and the characters well-rounded.

The story started out slowly, sluggishly even, with a disgruntled female lead Ceony settling into her role as an apprentice (although she didn’t do any bowing and scraping. She’s a strong female who didn’t let a man walk all over her) during some hum-drum chapters about her lessons and daily life. Then the action and suspense slammed into my chest (no pun intended) in Chapter 5. I was blown away. Adventure and exploration followed after that and I was engrossed in the book until the end.

How many books have the heroine exploring the four different chambers of someone’s heart, both literally and figuratively? “Cool”, “Different”, “Interesting” adjectives leap into my head but I can’t use one to describe this book. I loved the surprising turn the book took at the end (subtle as it was) and I’m eager to read the next installment in the series to see what happens between Ceony and Emery.

Do they know what happened to Lira? Will they go after the even Grath Cobalt in Book 2?

I’ll let you know how Book 2 “The Glass Magician” turns out!

‘Till next time,


Review of “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

This was a part relaxing, part intense read about a orphan growing up and surviving in the Great Depression.

I’ve been on a kick reading books set in the Great Depression and stumbled upon this one in my local library.

And I gave it a RARE 5 stars on Goodreads!!!

It is an adult read, but I think it’s suitable for mature YA as well. Story follows a young  Irish girl named Nieve (her name is changed by those who take her in) and the well-written plot had me laughing, crying and staring in horror at certain places. If you like your stories read to you, the audio version is fantastic as well.

Full review and details on Goodreads, check it out HERE!



Review of YA Fairy Tale “Magic Under Glass”

I said I was going to start posting my Goodreads book reviews, since I spend more time on that glorious website than any other.

Goodreads is (in my opinion) Facebook for books.

Recently I finished a YA novel called “Magic Under Glass”. While the title is misleading and I didn’t get to see any magic done under actual glass, the story was intriguing the characters diverse.

I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. Not too shabby…

Full Goodreads review HERE if you want to know it all.

Have fun, happy reading!


Now that November is Over…

I did it! I typed like a mad woman (the jury is still out on that one) and reached my 50,000 word count on 11/28/18.

So, I have a nice little certificate from Berkeley’s NaNoWriMo team showing that I’m a winner. I can hang it on my wall.

Or not. The wall above my office desk is currently looking a little cluttered. I have some schedules, a loudly ticking clock, a decorative purse hanging on a nail, and a whole wooden tree of scarves.

What should I do with all this free time-time I had previously devoted to late nights writing? I’m sure I’ll find something to do. I’m catching up on communications with friends and family that I ignored while working on that novel.

I’m also going to stick my nose deep in a pile of books that have been crying for me in the corner of my bedroom. And I’m going to post those books reviews I do on Goodreads here.

That’s the plan! And soon it will be 2019. C’est la vie…

Back on Track. #NaNoWriMo2018

I fell woefully behind for a few days, but now that Turkey Day is over I concentrated on catching up!

Goal today according to the contest’s website? A terrifying 40,000 words. My word count? (Keep in mind this is AFTER burning the midnight all oil last night and writing for about seven hours today with coffee, English breakfast tea, pasta, and a brisk walk later…) 40,410 words.

I think I can log off now…


It’s November 15th. Is YOUR novel halfway done???

Let’s lay out some facts. Pay attention now; I know I am…

We’re supposed to write 50,000 words for this 2018 NaNoWriMo challenge. Right? Right.

Naturally for the middle of the month, I should be at a nice, even 25,000 words. Right? Wrong.

Today my novel boasts a modest 22,072 words. Not shabby…but close.

Should I be worried?

Worried lego face

Not yet. I’ve got a contingency scheme… I’ve signed up for what I’m told is a relaxing, distraction-free writing retreat this weekend in LaCrosse, WI! With all that time, I can certainly hit 25,000 words tomorrow, and keep plugging along from there.

That’s the plan anyway! Onward and upward!


That Crazy Novel Challenge Again


Hello all,

I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2018! Been plugging away on my document and updating my word count on social media and on the challenge’s website. Same rules. Write a novel (it can be non-fiction, fiction, a compilation of short stories or essays) in 30 days, achieving a 50,000 word count.

I have 14,365 words so far. Today, being November 9th I need to hit 15,000!

I think this is doable. My book is coming along well, mainly because I am drawing out a scene where my protagonist is attending a lavish party only to distract her host (the current planetary governor) and break into his safe.

Good time!

I’ll continue to update my word progress. It keeps me accountable.


Is it spring yet?

Hello all,

I haven’t written in awhile for two…okay maybe three main reasons.

#1: I had the opportunity to travel for work from the end of December until just last week, training another employee in the company. It was a long time to be away from home (except for snatches over the weekends), but in the end enjoyable.

I was working in Ashland, Wisconsin. For those of you who have never heard of the city, it is highly industrial, but has a beautiful view of Lake Superior along much of State Hwy. 2 running through the city. It sports ancient buildings dating from the 1800s, cool town houses (decked out with wooden trim, lighthouse turrets and cozy looking porches) some standing tall and strong, some thinking about falling down, and a sprawling layout of shops, businesses, and even an old university.

#2: I hit a wall of cabin fever. Happens to most of us in the winter, and some years are worse for me than others. I was rather glad for the distraction of traveling for work to break up some of the monotony of winter, however, the gloomy feeling of cobwebs clouding my head does not help my writing mood.

#3: I watched “Star Wars the Last Jedi” and turned into a nerd. Yep, a full-blown nerd. As part of this winter, I’ve been binge watching my favorite action movies (all of the Star Wars one, lots of Marvel ones) and with that comes oodles of fan fiction! (Is “oodles” even a word anymore?) I’m terribly infected with the fan fic bug. Not sure if I am brave enough to actually post some of the spin off stories I’ve written, but since I have begun to push some of those writings on my friends and family, I suppose the words don’t want to stay put and must come out.

Here’s a massive snow mountain that is dominating my office’s parking lot. It’s half as tall as the electric line poles!

massive pile of snow

What has everyone else been up to this winter? Think spring!


I Made It

Hello all,

Well, although I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I DID end up winning my National Novel Writing Challenge on November 29th, 2017, with a day to spare! The robot program who counted my word total on the NaNoWriMo website nearly gave me a heart attack when, after pasting my novel from Microsoft Word, it said I was still 300 words short! So I had to write a bit more, and try again. Not a hard task. My characters have been sitting in limbo for a couple of weeks now, as I am taking a much needed break from the writing process for the holidays.

This does not mean that in January I won’t be back in full swing, working on my novel again. There is so much room for improvements. But I am looking forward to playing with my 3 protagonists again. They are a weird mix of characters.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas